What to Pack!?!?!?

A post from Kelli–

You may remember last year, we hosted a quilt retreat in Oelwein with Bonnie Hunter.  We had tons of ladies join us from all over and had a blast.  You can read more about that here in one of our posts from last year–https://www.joscountryjunction.com/35481/.

After the retreat was wrapping up, a few ladies decided to have a reunion retreat.  At first I was pretty skeptical.  I told mom that I’d go down and sew a day or two, but wouldn’t be staying overnight and that I’d only go if she’d go.  I jokingly said that I only wanted to stay overnight somewhere that I could sleep in my T-shhirt and underwear. I really didn’t think she’d go, so I didn’t think it would even happen.  A few days later, I was talking to her on my way to work and she told me that she had been talking to Connie and was probably going to go to the retreat.  I asked her to repeat herself and she then added that she was thinking about staying overnight even.  I almost pulled to the side of the road to catch my breath.  She said that when she was talking to Connie, she thought it might be fun to step out of her box and try something new.  Then I thought maybe I should try something new too…And then she told me that Connie probably wouldn’t care if I slept in my tshirt and underwear.  Then I knew I really had to consider it!

So I thought a little.  At that time, I had plenty of PTO that taking a day or two off wouldn’t be a big deal.  I’m lucky in that I’m able to usually work my schedule around so that I don’t have to use PTO as long as I can work two other days during that week which is definitely a bonus.  So then I said yes…And honestly surprised even myself.

After my surgery and having to take some PTO to supplement my short-term disability, it turns out that I have just enough to make it to the retreat!

Now, my only problem is what to pack?

I’m seriously in the middle of about 10 different projects.  I won’t show you a picture of my whole dining room as that would be quite embarrasing, but let me tell you, it’s a mess and a half.

I couldn’t decide what to pack, so I just started trying to pick things up a bit.  I ended up stumbling upon this pile of shower curtains and toweling and decided to get them cut and hemmed up so that I could make nice absorbant kitchen towels.  I got part way through and lost steam.  I thought about taking them with to retreat, but didn’t want to bring 17 million things, so I think those are staying home.

Then there was this pile of shirts that I thought about trying to get cut up a bit to bring to retreat, but I knew that there was no way I was going to get through them all, so I just piled them up in a different corner to pretend I accomplished something.

Then I stumbled upon this pile of patterns that I had printed of quilts that I wanted to make.  I have Dots and Dashes, Starring Monkey Wrenches, and Mod Rails from Quilted Twins and Bonnies Jewel Box Stars leader and ender pattern.  I kind of wanted to start one of these as a new project and went so far as to dig out fabric.  I ended up finding out that I don’t have enough of the one collection to make the quilt I wanted.  I’m thinking that the Jewel Box Stars would look neat in batiks, but I have those in about 3 different places.  And anyways, I have enough projects already started….

So then I pulled out some projects that I already have cut out and going so I could focus more on sewing rather than cutting.  On the top I have Cactus Patch (Mom made it here–https://www.joscountryjunction.com/friday-finish-cactus-patch/).  The middle is Criss Cross Applesauce (Mom made it here–https://www.joscountryjunction.com/a-friday-finish-criss-cross-applesauce/) and on the bottom I have Bricks in the Barnyard–Which mom is also currently working on.  Then I thought that three projects would probably be a lot…but maybe not.

After that I cross stitched for a while and made supper, trying to answer the “What should I pack” question, but actually just avoiding making a decision.  And the dumbest part?  I live an hour away and if I need to, I can run home and get a new project, supplies, etc….or heaven forbid it’s in a quilt shop and I buy something new.

Finally I decided that if I packed a few projects regardless of what they were and a good attitude, I’ll have a fun time no matter what I sew on!  And the Block of the Month I’ll be posting about on Saturday–If I don’t have that packed with you may not see me alive again!  And my sleep machine, because if I don’t have that, I’ll definitely make more friends than enemies….So I’m just gonna go with the flow!

Seriously though–If you have any wisdom on what to pack, please let me know!!!


12 thoughts on “What to Pack!?!?!?”

  1. If it’s only an hour away, you are driving, so pack up at least those three project boxes, scissors thread seam ripper sewing machine (rulers cutters and mats?), pjs, sleep machine, set of clothes for each day, toiletries and meds, and take off!!
    You can always leave a project box in the car, if you don’t want to take them all in.
    P.S. I’ve read about quilters who got to a retreat and decided they didn’t want to work on anything they brought, so shopped the shop and started something new! Who knows what will happen to you!!

  2. Bring at least one easy hand work project, something mindless that you can work on while talking late at night. I like cross stitch, English paper piecing, or simple appliqué for that. I always have EPP on vacation. And don’t forget your toothbrush!

  3. Kelli, take the 3 projects you have in boxes. And throw the bag of shirts in the trunk. If you get all 3 tops done, you can work on shirts :-)

  4. It is nice to have several projects to work on – in case you get tired of one. Take the shirts and the X stitch, a nice change of pace. The worst that can happen, you just take them back home! Take a chair pad if you have one, to make you ‘taller’ in your chair if needed. I usually take my adjustable chair. I go to a couple of overnight retreats a year, so I have a spreadsheet for items that I need to take, I print it out each time and take it with me so I can make notes of things it would be nice to have for the next time! Have fun! It really is a great time – sewing with friends, chatting, not having to worry about things that need to be done at home and getting to focus on sewing!!

  5. Take two projects…that’s about all you’ll have time for in two days. Take a third along if three days. Take your favorite beverage, a bag of candy or an appetizer to share. A pair of pjs and low key clothes and slippers. And your favorite quilt toys. I keep a list…like extra needles, my cleaning tools, oil, a fold up light….my rotary cutter with a fresh blade. And my favorite rulers and have them initialed so you know what’s yours.

  6. I find it best to take projects that are already cut so I can just sew. I don’t want anything that requires concentration amidst all the commotion and distractions at a retreat. Take more than you think you need in case a problem arises and you need to put a project away or you just get tired of working on it. I always throw a bin of strings in for mindless sewing, if needed.

  7. Colleen Pflieger

    I have to pack my sleep machine also. They are getting quite popular! I have to pack for a week long retreat in Sept!

  8. I always take too much – I never know what I’ll want to work on. Generally I take 5 projects, in different stages. I only take one or two in and leave the rest in the car.

    Have fun!

  9. What ever yo take it will get some progress made. I prefer to take things that are already cut and ready to sew. Have a fun time, glad you decided to join in.

  10. Sounds like you will have a great time. I always pack too much because if I get bored I can just shift gears! I agree with the not trying to cut a new project because distractions could be disastrous.
    And your a c-pap user as well…it helps so much ;)
    Have fun with mom.

  11. You’re probably already at the retreat as I just read this on Thursday morning, pack extra and leave it in your car. You can always go dig another project out if you need to.

  12. One of my girlfriends taught me, one project for every day of the retreat. That way you will not get bored and you get a little done on many projects feeling very productive. There have been times I have brought numerous projects that are almost done and finish them at retreat. Word of warning….this does not make friends! :)

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